Johannesburg - The death of 38-year-old fitness and sport enthusiast Gugu Zulu on Mount Kilimanjaro on Nelson Mandela Day has South Africans questioning whether more could have been done to evacuate him to get medical attention.
According to Sean Disney, director of the extreme adventure company Adventure Dynamics, between eight and 10 people die on Kilimanjaro every year. Of those, he believes 90 percent are health related and not due to guide errors.
“Most people who have complications say they are battling to breathe. But if it is a pulmonary oedema or even cerebral oedema, you can develop respiratory problems, including water on the brain.”
Disney has climbed Kilimanjaro 21 times and reached the summit of Everest twice. His company is hosting two trips to the Kilimanjaro National Park next month.
“The only thing to do when you experience breathing problems is to descend. You have to increase the oxygen levels by getting to a lower altitude - and you have to evacuate quickly - ideally on foot.”